Based on findings of a recent study researchers say the drug clodronate is an effective treatment for patients with breast cancer that has spread to their bones. Researchers studied more than 1,000 patients with breast cancer. Patients received standard therapy plus 1,600 milligrams of oral clodronate a day or a placebo for five years.
Results showed 124 patients in the study had their breast cancer spread to their bones. Fifty-one of these patients were treated with clodronate, and 73 of these received a placebo. Researchers say patients in the clodronate-treatment group had a decreased rate of skeletal-related events compared to those in the placebo group. Patients who received clodronate were less likely to need radiation, less likely to develop skeletal fractures, and less likely to need bone surgery.
Those treated with oral clodronate also had a 2.5-year increase in survival compared to those on placebo. Patients treated with clodronate had an average survival of 2,107 days, while those on placebo had an average survival of only 1,229 days.
Thus researchers conclude saying that treatment with clodronate not only delays or prevents bone metastases in patients with breast cancer, but also reduces the incidence of skeletal-related events, morbidity, and mortality in those patients who develop bone metastases despite treatment at the time of occurrence.